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Cheuvront amends Pearce’s concealed-weapons bill

It took cunning and persistence to outmaneuver one of the most powerful Republicans in the Arizona Legislature, but, so far, Sen. Ken Cheuvront seems to have pulled it off. 

Cheuvront, a Democrat from Phoenix, rallied enough last-minute support on Feb. 18 to amend a bill by Sen. Russell Pearce and derail Pearce’s plans to fast-track its passage.

Pearce, a Republican from Mesa who chairs the Appropriations Committee, drafted S1102 to loosen restrictions on carrying a concealed weapon. It also would allow people to shoot others who threaten physical violence.

But now, because of Cheuvront, the bill also establishes felony charges for selling or transferring firearms at a gun show without requiring buyers to prove they are U.S. citizens.

“This is in response to the drug wars that are happening on the border,” Cheuvront said. “Right now, many of the Mexican nationals are coming across and purchasing arms in the United States, taking them back across the border and killing thousands of people, both innocent and not innocent.”

Pearce, though, said it is already illegal for non-citizens to possess weapons.

“We already have laws against the bad guys getting these guns,” he said.

Pearce was miffed about the amendment and vowed to remove it, somehow.

“One way or the other, it’s coming off,” he said.

Part of the reason for Pearce’s frustration is that his bill would have been on the fast-track to passage if it had not been amended. A bill that was identical to his had been filed in the House, and the two bills could have been substituted for each other to save time.

But Cheuvront disrupted those plans when he called for a roll-call vote on the amendment during a Committee of the Whole debate, at which time amendments are successful if a majority of the members present vote for it. Fifteen senators voted to amend Pearce’s bill, while 14 voted against it.

It was Cheuvront’s third try to pass the amendment, which initially failed in committee on Feb. 1. It failed again during a voice vote in the Feb. 18 Committee of the Whole, but Cheuvront challenged that outcome and prevailed.

3 comments

  1. “It also would allow people to shoot others who threaten physical violence.” Are you f****** kidding me? A state full of Harold Fishs’? This should be a lot of help attracting employers to the state. Not!

  2. 1. The author’s description of the bill is misleading. There is nothing in the bill which says it is legal to shoot others who threaten physical violence. It does, however, clarify that you can inform or show someone that you are carrying without the penalty of an assault charge attached to it if it defuses a violent situation.

    2. Harold Fish was railroaded.

    3. I’m a Democrat for economic reasons, but I am disgusted that Cheuvront is trying to kill private sales by exploiting the issue of illegal immigration and border security. Placing more restrictions on law abiding citizens here isn’t going to abate crime in Mexico, especially since most of the weapons down there are from former Soviet backed states in Latin America (you can’t get grenades, full-auto weapons, and RPGs at USA gun shows, folks.)

    The best thing that could be done for Mexico is shoring up our border with them to prevent things from crossing over it, whether it be drugs and people heading north or money or any guns heading north.

  3. Richard,
    Do you believe everything you read?

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